The Journalism Program: Why We Write
See Chicago Dance views dance criticism as an essential aspect of our vision to fearlessly inspire an ever-growing, inclusive community to share in and spread the power of dance in Chicago. Created as a response to waning dance criticism in newspapers, our journalism program makes space for experienced critics to reflect on Chicago’s robust dance community and to mentor and promote new and underrepresented critics. With a keen awareness of dance criticism’s history of prioritizing Euro-American forms and marginalizing others, SCD seeks to promote equity in who writes about dance and what kinds of dance are recorded. Arts communities can wither without discerning responses to their work. As part of our mission to serve the dance field in Chicago, we recognize that dance writers make artists and organizations better.
The editor and writers at See Chicago Dance strive to present fair and equitable coverage of Chicago’s multifaceted dance community. The only requirement is listing your event on the SCD calendar, a free service. Artists needn't be SCD members, purchase advertisements or use SCD services to be covered by our critics. We start to make decisions about our editorial calendar on the 10th of each month, so it is highly recommended you post your events at least 4-6 weeks ahead. Editorial assignments are made at the discretion of the editor and according to budgetary restrictions. Calendar listings do not guarantee coverage.
Features, previews and reviews on our site provide commentary on a variety of dance disciplines, organizational sizes, neighborhoods and cultural backgrounds. The editor shall ensure balance and fairness in assignments as well as the tone and quality of publicized materials. Our main goal is educating, informing and inspiring our readers.
See Chicago Dance adheres to standards of practice similar to those of any other news outlet. The editor and writers function independently from SCD organizational programs and maintain curatorial and financial separation from executive leadership and the board of directors.
Meet our writers:
Editor and senior writer Lauren Warnecke is the dance contributor to the Chicago Tribune. She covers dance across the Midwest and writes regularly for Dance Magazine and Pointe. Lauren holds degrees in dance and kinesiology. Her academic writing has been published in Agenda and presented at the National Dance Education Organization and the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science. Lauren co-facilitated dance writing intensives in Chicago and Durban, South Africa. Writing residencies include the National Center for Choreography, Bates Dance Festival and JOMBA! Contemporary Dance Experience.
Senior writer and editor emerita Lynn Shapiro is a freelance writer and visual artist. Her reviews and feature stories have appeared in Dance Magazine, Dance Teacher Magazine, DanceTabs and Dance International. Her plays have been produced by CBS TV, as well as by regional theatre companies throughout the U.S. and Canada. Lynn has taught Fiction Writing at Columbia College, Movement for Actors at The Theatre School, DePaul University, and Dance at Barat College and The Latin School of Chicago. She has been an Artist In Residence with the Illinois Arts Council and The Chicago Board of Jewish Education. She has directed and choreographed for Piven Theatre Workshop, Famous Door Theatre, Goodman Children's Theatre, Light Opera Works, Opera Midwest, and Metropolis Performing Arts Center. She has also written and directed productions for corporate training through theater. In New York City where she danced professionally, Lynn attended The Martha Graham School and Juilliard. She received a BA in English Literature from the University of Illinois, and an MFA/MA in Fiction Writing and The Teaching of Creative Writing from Columbia College. Her fiction and poetry have been published in Midstream Magazine, The Jewish Women's Literary Annual, The Chicago Jewish News, East On Central, Realize Magazine, and Pioneer Press. Lynn was the editor of See Chicago Dance from 2013-2018.
Editor-at-large Vicki Crain has been involved in dance as a student, performer, teacher and dance writer for over 30 years. She holds a BA in English from University of Illinois (Springfield) and has interviewed notable artists such as Lar Lubovitch, Ann Reinking, Twyla Tharp and Christopher Wheeldon. She is the founder of Rogue Ballerina, a Chicago-based dance blog (est. 2009), published her first children’s book The Furry Princess in 2018, and is launching a podcast in late 2020. Her writing has been seen in Dance Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Windy City Times and CS Magazine among other publications. She is the former marketing manager for The Joffrey Ballet (2013-2020). Vicki was the editor of See Chicago Dance from 2012-2013.
Writer-at-large Gregory King is a culturally-responsive educator, performance artist, activist and movement maker who received his MFA in choreographic practice and theory from Southern Methodist University, and is certified in Elementary Labanotation from the Dance Notation Bureau. His dance training began at the Washington Ballet and continued at American University and Dance Theatre of Harlem. He has participated in the Horton Project in conjunction with the Library of Congress and has performed with Rebecca Kelly Ballet, The Washington Ballet, Erick Hawkins Dance Company, New York Theatre Ballet, Donald Byrd /The Group, The Metropolitan Opera Ballet, New York City Opera and Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway. As a choreographer his works have been commissioned by Transformer Station (Cleveland, OH), Georgian Court University (Lakewood, NY), Texas Ballet Theatre School (Dallas, TX), Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), The Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology 16 Biennial Symposium (New London, CT), Current Sessions (New York, NY) and SPACES Gallery (Cleveland, OH), and presented at Dixon Place (New York, NY), The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.) and Playhouse Square (Cleveland, OH). He has taught master classes, lectures, and workshops nationally and internationally. He has served as dance faculty for Texas Ballet Theatre and Boston Ballet, as well as visiting assistant professor of dance at Temple University and Swarthmore College. King is a dance writer for The Dance Enthusiast, ThINKingDANCE, The Philadelphia Dance Journal, CHOICE Review and Broad Street Review. Recently, Mr. King’s response to the Dancing for Justice Philadelphia event and was cited in the U. S. Department of Arts and Culture’s new resource guide, “Art Became the Oxygen.” In addition to having served on the dance review board for the National Endowment for the Arts, King was nominated for a Governor’s Award for the Arts in Ohio and was recently appointed to the Board of OhioDance. He was the 2018 recipient of the Outstanding Creative Contribution award from the Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Kent State University and served as Provost Faculty Associate for the academic year 2019-2020. Mr. King is a tenure track professor of dance at Kent State where he serves as the artistic director of the Kent Dance Ensemble. www.gregoryaking.com
Staff writer Jordan Kunkel is a Chicago-based dance artist, journalist and choreographer who investigates issues of social justice through her work. She received her B.A. in Dance and Journalism from Loyola University Chicago in 2018. As a working professional, she combines her passions for dance, writing and multimedia to advocate for and promote the arts.
For the past 15 years, freelance critic D’onminique Boyd has contributed to the field of dance in varying roles as a performer, educator, healer, community member and arts administrator. Most notably, she danced professionally with Kotchegna Ivory Coast Company, the Howard University Marching Band, studied with the Urban Bush Women in the Summer Leadership Institute, appeared in the movie Step Up and worked as a dance facilitator at El Puente Academy of Peace and Justice. In 2016, she was awarded the Legacy Continues award by the Katherine Dunham Museum for her commitment to sharing the importance of Miss Dunham’s legacy. She has worked internationally studying traditional South African dances as a Baldwin Artist in Residence and locally with students on the Autism Spectrum as an Adaptive Dance Assistant at Lou Conte Dance Studio in Chicago. Currently, D’onminique lives on Chicago’s South Side where she works with a creative community of teachers, artists, families and students helping to build the next generation of artists, creative thinkers and arts advocates as the Assistant Director of Education and Family Programs at the Logan Center for the Arts. She continues to find inspiration in humanity as a new mom, while examining the politics of black movement in the streets, in nature, at leisure, in quiet and on the stage. She is honored to share her voice and further her contribution to the field of dance as a critical dance writing fellow with See Chicago Dance.
Freelance critic Tristan Bruns is a tap dancer from Chicago. Tristan is a professional company member of M.A.D.D. Rhythms and was a founding member of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project's resident ensemble, BAM!. Tristan is the director of Tapman Productions, LLC, a multi-genre dance production company and tap dance floor rental service. Besides tap dancing, Tristan has been a featured columnist at DanceAdvantage.net and currently pens the blog The Tap Book at TapmanProductions.com. Tristan holds a BA in music from Columbia College Chicago.
A Chicago native, Freelance critic Emma Elsmo has been dancing since the mere age of two and has been writing for as long as she can remember. She began her formal dance training at the Academy of Movement and Music in Oak Park, Illinois, and was fortunate enough to spend summers training with both Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and Deeply Rooted Dance Theater. Elsmo graduated in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts concentrated in dance performance and choreography from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. While there, she enjoyed dancing with a handful of amazing artists and writing for the Philadelphia Dance Journal. She looks forward to exploring the Chicago dance scene on a deeper level.
Freelance critic Felicia Holman is a native Chicagoan, independent cultural producer/facilitator and co-founder of Afrodiasporic feminist creative collective Honey Pot Performance. She is also a 2020-2021 Threewalls RaDLab fellow. Felicia's creative, professional and social practices are firmly grounded in critical thought, intersectionality, community building and embodied storytelling. Her most recent published works include reviews for See Chicago Dance and Performance Response Journal, as well as a guest essay at The Quarantine Times (published by the Public Media Institute). Felicia relishes her artrepreneurial life and sums it up in three words: Creator, Connector, Conduit.
Matt de la Pena